Cat Allergies Sneezing

icon June 27, 2024

Cat allergies are a common issue that affects both cats and their owners. Sneezing is one of the primary symptoms associated with allergies in cats, but it can also be a sign of other underlying health issues. This article delves into the intricacies of cat allergies, focusing on sneezing as a symptom. We will explore what can be given to cats for allergy-induced sneezing, whether cats can indeed have allergies that cause sneezing, how to differentiate between allergies and a cold, the most common cat allergies, how to test for cat allergies at home, and which cat breeds are prone to allergies.

Understanding Cat Allergies

Allergies in cats occur when their immune system overreacts to a substance that is typically harmless. These substances, known as allergens, can be found in the environment, food, or even other animals.

Common allergens include:

  • pollen
  • dust mites
  • mold
  • certain ingredients in cat food

Cat Allergies Sneezing

Sneezing is a reflex action to clear the nasal passages of irritants. When a cat inhales an allergen, it may cause inflammation in the nasal passages, leading to sneezing. This is the body's attempt to expel the offending particles. While occasional sneezing is normal, frequent sneezing can indicate an allergic reaction or another health issue that requires attention.

What Can I Give My Cat for Allergies and Sneezing?

Over-the-Counter Solutions

There are several over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can help alleviate sneezing and other allergy symptoms in cats. Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can be effective. However, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication to ensure the correct dosage and to confirm that it is safe for your cat.

Prescription Medications

For more severe cases, veterinarians may prescribe corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the immune response. In some instances, immunotherapy (allergy shots) might be recommended to gradually desensitize the cat to the allergens.

Natural Remedies

Some pet owners prefer natural remedies, such as using air purifiers to reduce airborne allergens or adding omega-3 fatty acids to the cat's diet to help reduce inflammation. Again, it is essential to consult with a vet before trying these methods.

Can Cats Have Allergies Sneezing?

Yes, cats can have allergies sneezing. Here are some details about cat allergies sneezing.

Allergic Rhinitis

Cats can suffer from allergic rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the nasal passages due to an allergic reaction. This condition can cause frequent sneezing, nasal discharge, and congestion. Allergic rhinitis is commonly triggered by environmental allergens like pollen, dust, or mold.

Other Allergic Reactions

In addition to rhinitis, cats can also experience other types of allergic reactions that might lead to sneezing. These include food allergies and contact allergies (allergic dermatitis). While sneezing is less common with these types of allergies, it can still occur if the allergen causes nasal irritation.

How Do I Know If My Cat Has Allergies or a Cold?

Symptoms of Allergies

Allergy symptoms in cats can include:

  • Frequent sneezing
  • Runny or itchy eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Itchy skin or ears
  • Coughing or wheezing

Symptoms of a Cold

Cold symptoms in cats, also known as feline upper respiratory infections (URIs), can overlap with allergy symptoms but also include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Eye discharge
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

Key Differences

One of the key differences between allergies and a cold is the duration and pattern of symptoms. Allergies tend to cause persistent or seasonal symptoms, while a cold usually resolves within a week or two. Additionally, a cold may come with a fever and more pronounced lethargy, whereas allergies generally do not cause fever.
→Related: Seasonal Allergies in Cats

What Is the Most Common Cat Allergy?

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

The most common allergy in cats is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). This occurs when a cat is allergic to the saliva of fleas. Even a single flea bite can cause intense itching and discomfort. Symptoms include excessive scratching, hair loss, and red, inflamed skin.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies, also known as atopy, are the second most common type. These allergies are typically caused by pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and other environmental factors. Symptoms can include sneezing, itchy skin, and runny eyes.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are less common but still significant. They can cause gastrointestinal issues, skin problems, and respiratory symptoms like sneezing. Common food allergens include beef, dairy, fish, and certain grains.

How to Test for Cat Allergy at Home?

Observational Methods

The first step in testing for cat allergies at home is to observe your cat's symptoms and any patterns related to their environment or diet. Keeping a diary of when and where symptoms occur can help identify potential allergens.

Elimination Diet

For suspected food allergies, an elimination diet can be helpful. This involves feeding your cat a hypoallergenic diet (with novel proteins and carbohydrates) for several weeks and then gradually reintroducing regular foods one at a time to identify the allergen.

DIY Allergy Tests

There are at-home allergy test kits available that involve collecting a sample of your cat's saliva or hair and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. These tests can screen for a variety of common allergens and provide useful information, though they should not replace professional veterinary diagnosis.

What Breed of Cat Is Prone to Allergies?

Siamese Cats

Siamese cats are known to be more prone to allergies compared to other breeds. They are particularly susceptible to asthma and other respiratory issues, which can be exacerbated by environmental allergens.

Other Breeds

While Siamese cats are the most notable, other breeds can also be prone to allergies. These include the Oriental Shorthair, Devon Rex, and Sphynx. These breeds may require more careful management of their environment and diet to minimize allergic reactions.

Managing Cat Allergies

Environmental Control

Reducing allergens in your cat's environment is crucial. This can involve:

  • Regular cleaning to reduce dust and mold
  • Using air purifiers to remove airborne allergens
  • Keeping your cat indoors during high pollen seasons

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming can help remove allergens from your cat's coat and reduce the risk of allergic reactions. This includes bathing your cat with hypoallergenic shampoo and brushing their fur to remove loose hair and dander.
→Also Read: How Often Should You Bathe A Cat

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for managing allergies. Your vet can help diagnose the specific allergens affecting your cat and recommend appropriate treatments and preventive measures.


Cat allergies, particularly those causing sneezing, are a common concern for many cat owners. Understanding the causes and symptoms of allergies, differentiating between allergies and other conditions like colds, and knowing how to manage and treat these allergies are crucial for maintaining your cat's health and comfort. By staying informed and proactive, you can help ensure that your cat leads a happy, healthy life despite the challenges of allergies.

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